Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Hopeful Heart

Book Description:  "In A Hopeful Heart, the first novel of the new Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from best-selling author Amy Clipston, Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief.
Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband’s brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah.
A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider."
My Review:  The beginning of this story had me laughing out loud!  After such a humorous beginning, I was in no hurry to put down the book.  I was not disappointed.  Hannah was a woman that faced some unusual circumstances, and I enjoyed watching her character evolve throughout the book.  She did not take her faith or her family lightly, and had some intense struggles in deciding what was right.  Even though she felt like the decisions she came to were right, it did not mean everything fell into place without repercussions.  I felt like these were real-life characters with some real-life problems that were not necessarily resolved without heartache.  This was a book about life.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Simple Change

Book description:  "Joining the communal society of the Amana Colonies isn't what Jancey Rhoder planned for her future, but when unforeseen circumstances force her family to make some difficult decisions, she chooses to give up her teaching position in a Kansas City orphanage and move with her parents to Iowa. 

Her besotted suitor, Nathan Woodward, isn't at all happy about the move and is determined to get Jancey to change her mind. And Jancey herself isn't sure what she's gotten herself into when the simple life of the Amana Colonies means she'll be assigned a job and may have to give up teaching for good. Will Nathan woo her back to the city, or will she be forever changed by the mysterious events and new relationships that await her in the quiet villages of the Amana Colonies--and decide to make this unique place her forever home?"

My review:  This is the second book on the Amana Colonies by Judith Miller that I have read.  I enjoyed the book, and I enjoyed reading a little more about this group of people.  Jancey is a transparent character who has the same struggles we all have at some time.  The theme of waiting on God runs throughout the book, and this is what Jancey struggles with the most.  Ms. Miller also includes a vivid picture of how greed can destroy an individual.  These are both great lessons to learn.  While I do not think that this particular lifestyle is Biblical, this was an interesting book to read.  It gives the reader plenty to think about.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Once Upon a Prince

Book description:  "Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.
Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.
The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.
Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s an ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation."
My review:  I was a little skeptical about requesting to read this book after I had read the book description, but I decided to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It is a modern-day fairy tale that is believable for the most part.  I enjoyed the story-line, but the political twist in Prince Nathaniel's kingdom was a bit confusing.  Also, Aurora, who was one of the minor characters in the story, was a bit unbelievable.  That being said, I loved Susanna and Prince Nathaniel.  I enjoyed both characters as well as their story.  If you are looking for a fun book to take to the beach this summer, this one fits the bill.  Hopefully Ms. Hauck will continue the story in another book.  If she does, I will look forward to reading it as well.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Barefoot Summer

Book description:  "Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.

In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.

To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.

Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.
Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?"
My review:  Other books that I have read by Denise Hunter were good; however, Barefoot Summer was excellent!  The characters and story line were very enjoyable and believable.  Great spiritual truths have been written into the pages of this book making it an encouraging read as well.  This is a fun summer book.  I am looking forward to more books in this series.  There are plenty of characters to get to know better, and I will love to catch up on Madison and Beckett.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.